Writing and Judgment

Hi all and Happy OCTOBER! I hope you are doing well. I’m sorry for missing a post last week. My hands and wrists were hurting something fierce and I couldn’t bring myself to type outside of work (I thought carpal tunnel surgery was supposed to fix that…). But, I’m doing better now, so we’re back to our regular posting schedule.

This is another post that will connect to my “Writing and ________” series in which I talk about an issue that writers may face or deal with in their writing and as they go through life. This week, I’m thinking about judgment, whether that be judgment from others or the judgment that we perceive from others.

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to listen to the amazing Jonathan Van Ness talk about his new book in front of a sold out crowd! He was a beautiful whirlwind on stage and I just want to give him the biggest hug. He’s had an eventful life and I admire him for his perseverance. He talked about his life and growing up in a small town, his experiences on Queer Eye and something else which really caught my attention and was the inspiration for this week’s post.


When JVN started talking about the idea of writing a book, one of the things that he says he most feared was that people would judge him for the things that he has done in his life. Being judged for something you are is frightening and horrible. Those feelings are tough to handle and overcome. It’s clear that our beloved JVN has done the work he needs to do to get to a good place with himself and now he is able to share with others so they can get to their good place too. ❤

While I don’t write anything autobiographical, JVN’s words were something that I could really relate to in a way…a way that relates to writing fiction of course! I have always worried about writing something too gory, too violent, too weird, too SOMETHING and being judged for thinking of something that someone else found to be TOO much. How could she think of this disgusting thing and write about it? What’s wrong with her imagination/brain?

Is it silly? Yes. Authors write about all sorts of gory, gross, weird, offensive (and other adjectives) things all the time and they get publishing deals and become best sellers and more. They make grandiose statements and force humanity to do a double-take and reevaluate itself. That’s an important role in society, one that we need to continue to fill. When I read these sort of things from other writers, I don’t judge them and the thoughts that clearly came out of their heads. So, why do I have a problem writing about whatever comes into my head and why do I worry so much about being judged for what comes out as I’m banging on the keyboard?

I don’t really have an answer to that. I have always worried about what others think of me my whole life. I want to be liked and appreciated, as we all do of course. But, some people are better at paving their own way and not worrying about what others think. I’m not very good at that. But I want to get better at it.

So, how should I go about doing that? Well, perhaps when I get back into my next project, I should force myself to write that scene or idea, even if there’s a part of me that feels nervous or squeamish. For now though, I think admitting that this is something I have faced and worry about is a good first step. And, as I go forward, I will remember how JVN was able to share those personal elements of himself even though he originally felt nervous about how others would receive/perceive him.

Thanks for another great lesson, JVN! 🙂

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One thought on “Writing and Judgment

  1. The self judgement is harsh. I’ve wondered if it would be the same for Mark Twain or Louis LaMour, or if it’s the modern society and the constant social media feeds that nail us to the wall. If they like you they love you but if they hate you they despise you. Judgement isn’t fair even if it comes from within.

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